Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association Leaves Legacy for VJH Foundation’s ‘Tower of Care Campaign’
Continuing their longstanding tradition of community service, the Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association is leaving a legacy in the North Okanagan with a $25,000 donation to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation’s ‘Tower of Care Campaign.’
“We are very thankful for the OK Landing Firefighters generous contribution to Tower of Care”, says Sue Beaudry, VJHF Director of Development. “Their gift will be used to help equip and furnish a room on one of the top floors of Polson Tower, improving healthcare for generations of North Okanagan residents.”
Recognizing a need for fire protection services, the OK Landing Firefighters Association was established in 1974 by a group of volunteers. Through donations and grants from the Province of BC and RDNO, volunteers constructed the fire hall on Okanagan Landing Road.
“There were about 10 to 15 of us,” says long-time member Len Ganz. “We used our vehicles and offered our labour to build the hall brick by brick.”
Throughout the years, the group was involved in the community helping out with the OK Landing Elementary school annual Kids Fun Day, presenting the Hallowe’en fireworks display and running the pancake breakfast at Paddlewheel Park Regatta.
“As a non-profit society, the department never took practice pay. Everyone donated it back to the hall,” says Ganz.
When their contract wasn’t renewed in 2012, members took on the task of dissolving the association, transferring funds to non-profits throughout Vernon.
“We looked at number of worthwhile charities and narrowed it down, eventually choosing five based on the impact it would have for the community,” says Len Ganz.
The completion of the top two floors of Polson Tower will bring state of the art care to VJH, with improved infection control, increased patient capacity, comfort and safety.
To date, the Tower of Care campaign has raised an impressive $1.9 million towards its $2.5 million goal.
“We are always thankful and inspired by the generosity of our community,” says Beaudry. There are a number of upcoming fundraising initiatives this year that we anticipate will bring us to our goal by the fall of 2015.”
For information about the Tower of Care Campaign, or to donate, click here.